The Opening of the Growers' Market Signals Spring in the Village
It’s hard to believe that winter is over. The sand hill cranes, the wintering Canada geese, and the bald eagles have all flown north. Water is once again flowing in the ditches, the fruit trees are blossoming, and the ducks and geese are paired up, THE WIND IS BLOWING! And it won’t be long for baby ducks and goslings to line the ditch banks. But probably the most defining moment of Spring for Los Ranchos is the opening of our Growers’ Market on the first Saturday in May.
We are extremely excited this year to celebrate the 21st year of the founding of the Los Ranchos Growers’ Market.
As predictable as a rooster crowing before daybreak, our volunteer board, led by Sue Brawley, begins its Saturday mornings as early as 4 AM to put on a weekly event that is rivaled by very few around the country. This is the 13th season for this volunteer board managing the Growers’ Market, and the 21st season since the Los Ranchos Growers’ Market was begun. It is incredible, but not unexpected, that our Los Ranchos Growers’ Market is tied for second largest in the state, based on average number of vendors per market. The only market larger than ours is in Santa Fe.
The Los Ranchos Growers' Market has an average of nearly 50 vendors each week. (This number does not include the arts and crafts vendors.) The Los Ranchos Growers' Market supports not only the large-scale farmer but also the small-scale backyard grower. The Market limits the number of reserve spaces, as well as the number of specialty vendors (processed food products, meats, cheeses, agriculture related products, etc.) so that they will have space available weekly for those with seasonal produce who want to come occasionally.
Our season is one of the longest, from May through mid-November (28 - 29 weeks). We have over 120 different vendors participating, with a high of 60+. The arts and crafts vendors range from 20 to 30 vendors per market. The arts and crafts are a separate market, established years ago when there were (and still are) more artisans than could be accommodated in a Growers' Market, according to the state guidelines. At the height of the season, the growers’ market can have over 85 different vendors at a single Saturday Market. Depending upon the year, between the regular and winter seasons, there are over 30 Saturdays per year that growers, artisans and local businesses are on display. Since 2003, the Growers’ Market has grown from approximately 6000 visitors to nearly 30,000 attendees during the season.
Additionally, the Growers’ Market is much more than just fruits and vegetables. Each week there is a local musician, and on any given Saturday there will be special events from guest chefs to “ask the experts”, to specialized events such as Old Vehicle Day, Canine Celebration, Sustainability/Solar, Costume Day, plus special local business “spotlights”, and much more.
The Los Ranchos Growers' Market is not only a people friendly place, but also pet friendly. Pets range from cats and dogs to parrots and alpacas. Everyone is required to have his or her pet on a leash. It is definitely a tradition for many people to come to Market with their pets on a Saturday morning.
The opening day of this year’s Market is Saturday, May 6th at 7 AM. The Market will operate every Saturday from 7 AM to 11 AM, May through August, and from 8 AM to 11 AM from September through mid-November. You can find more information about what is happening at the Market by going to www.losranchosgrowersmarket.com, www.losranchosnm.gov or follow us on What’s Happening in Los Ranchos on Facebook.
Once again as I write my Mayor’s report, I can’t help but think how lucky we are in Los Ranchos to have Sue Brawley and the entire volunteer board who are so dedicated to making our Village and the Growers’ Market such a success. A very heartfelt “thank you” goes out to all the volunteers who help make Los Ranchos such a special place each Saturday morning.
Come join the fun of the Los Ranchos Growers’ Market every Saturday from May – November. Abbey and I look forward to see you at the Market!
- Larry P. Abraham, Mayor